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lesliemoneyllesliemoney Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in New Member Introductions
My name is Leslie...I am 25 and live on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest.

On January 2, 2011 I was driving to work and ended up sliding on some black ice. My truck rolled two times and luckily landed right side up. Unluckily, I suffered a Burst Fracture to my L-2 and small additional fractures to my L-1 and L-3.

As a result, I had surgery to secure the break. The local hospital was unable to deal with this type of injury, so I had to wait until a neurosurgeon close by took my case. I had an Open Reduction Internal Fixation on January 6.

Luckily for me, my recovery has been very easy and smooth all things considered. I found that as soon as I quit taking all the medication I was given at the hospital (Oxycontin, Diazapam, and a muscle relaxer), I was almost immediately better. I found that Ibuprofen was a much more effective method of pain relief and I knew who I was while taking it (lol).

I just had a final up with my neurosurgeon and according to him have completed my treatment =). My dilemna now is whether or not to have the metalwork removed. I am currently in the process of completing light strength training and trying to work up to where I was fitness wise prior to the accident. My surgeon says that leaving the metal in or taking it out won't make much of a difference in the long run, however I do not want devices in my body that are not medically necessary.

I am here to talk to other people who have opted to have their metalwork taken out or left in place to find what their experience has been. Of course, my doctor said it is ultimately my decision, but that there are risks involved since it is spinal surgery.

Thank you.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I'm curious as to why you'd want to risk another surgery to have the hardware taken out? I have a plate, two rods and 12 screws in my spine and they're going to be a part of my body for the rest of my life (I hope).

    I think of them as added stability, and don't want to risk another surgery unless it's absolutely necessary (causing pain, etc.). There's a chance of infection, added scar tissue, etc.

    Anyway, just curious...
  • lesliemoney said:
    I do not want devices in my body that are not medically necessary.
    I understand that, but Cathie is right about the added risks to your body in having another operation to remove the hardware. I had hardware removed from one of my feet because it was causing pain, but the other one is still there and has been for appr. 12 yrs.I suppose it is a personal choice, but I wouldn't think that a surgeon would want to operate if the only reason for the surgery was because you didn't want the hardware in there, and no other medically necessary reason(s).

    Good for you on your healing and recovery!!

  • Thanks!

    Cathie, its just as I said before... I am really uncomfortable leaving foreign objects in my body that are no longer serving any real purpose. And I figure I'm still young and that if I can avoid any future problems, now is the time to do it. On the flip side, I do understand the risks involved with spinal surgery and the recovery won't be pleasant, albeit not as bad as the first time around.

    Though, that's ultimately why I am here. To get the insight of others as to whether or not I should go back under the knife. Also, to offer advice about pain management and recovery.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I totally undertstand how you feel about leaving objects in your body that no longer seem beneficial. I have a few implants due to prior fusions but they have never given me problems so why risk a problem by removing them. Also adjacent joint degeneration is common with any spinal fusion, being I am already aware I have this condition the previous hardware will need to be removed to fuse the adjacent failing joints.
    As for your recovery it sounds like you are doing everything right, it's always good to hear about the successful surgeries. I am also fortunate to have a 100% success rate in all my repairs.
    Take care & good luck to you!
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i have no experience with your current situation but i wanted to say hello anyway! i imagine talking with others here on the forum will give you a better idea about what to do.. there is information on the forum as well... good luck to you! i hope that whatever your decision, all works out well!! Jenny :)
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